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PS4's 'play while downloading' feature arrives early on PS3

A feature that lets you play games before they've finished downloading will debut on a PS3 game in a couple of weeks, ahead of the PS4.

The PS4's 'play while downloading' feature will save gamers a bit of time, so it's fitting that it's arriving sooner than expected. So soon, in fact, that it's making its way onto the PS3, for the game The Last of Us, GameInformer reports.

The Last of Us is due to hit shop shelves and the PlayStation Store on 14 June. If you download it, you'll only have to wait until 50 per cent of the game has been piped to your console before you can start playing, cutting the wait in half for impatient gamers.

Admittedly that's not quite as awesome as the feature promised on the PS4, but it's a start. At the PS4 announcement in February, Sony promised "just a fraction" of a game would have to be downloaded before we can start playing. The rest of the game will carry on downloading in the background, with no discernible difference to the player.

The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic horror in which the population has been decimated, and the government long ago collapsed. Smuggler Joel is asked by a dying friend to look after a 14-year-old named Ellie, and transport her to another Quarantine Zone. But obviously things don't go quite to plan.

The PS4 should be released around the end of the year, and might well feature voice control, if a recent job advert is anything to go by. As well as that, a 3D headset could be in the works, that could change your angle of view depending on where you are in the lounge.

The next Xbox, meanwhile, is due to be unveiled on Tuesday, so stay tuned to CNET UK, we'll bring you all the news as it happens.

Are you looking forward to the PS4? Or is the smart money on the Xbox 720? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.